Do you ever read a familiar Bible passage and have a big AH-HA! moment? I find that the more I study the Bible, especially in community with others, I see things I’ve never seen before in passages I’ve read umpteen times.
That happened to me this week as I listened to Todd VanEk, CEO of Mission India (www.missionindia.org) speak on Paul’s Road to Damascus encounter of Jesus. Seriously, how many times have I read this? Can’t count. But as he talked about how his prayer group prays for Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India to have a supernatural encounter with Jesus, I was just awestruck.
I pray for loved ones and friends, those brought before me by others as well, unbelievers and believers alike, to encounter Jesus, but I don’t often pray for that Road to Damascus kind of encounter. As Todd talked about how unlikely, no…impossible it was for Saul to become a believer in Jesus, it’s like a light bulb just went off. Saul was on his way to kill Christians just for being Christians. He was passionate about killing Christians. He saw that as his calling and how he could follow God.
I know all this. I’ve known it for decades. It’s crazy amazing, right? He meets Jesus and goes on to become the Apostle Paul: missionary to most of the known world and writer of most of the New Testament.
I’ve heard other missionaries talk about people they know that had supernatural encounters with Jesus and became believers. It’s not a new story for me.
But did I ever pray that anyone I knew would have such an encounter?
Just being honest.
But watch out! I’m challenged to do that now. In The West, God doesn’t work as often in the supernatural because we aren’t looking for it. Because we aren’t open to it. Because we are skeptical. But the stories from around the world are like something out of a sci-fi movie sometimes. I’m not one to pray for those kinds of things, but in the past 2 years, I’ve seen more miracles than ever before in my life. I can’t deny they don’t happen. So maybe I need to be praying for more. Maybe He will let me have a part in bringing them about. Maybe I had my faith stretched knowing a stranger prays for a (albeit well-known) stranger on a weekly basis.
Challenged for sure,
*Paul’s journey to Damascus can be found in Acts 9:1-31. Really another miracle in this passage is Ananias: the faith that man had to go to Saul is mind-blowing, but that is for another day… 😉